Fix Namespace is already defined errors

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 20, 2016

The error message Namespace is already defined may be displayed when you open the Group Policy editor on Windows 10, or try to edit an affected policy.

As an example, the following error message was displayed twice when I opened the Group Policy Editor on a Windows 10 machine:

Namespace 'Microsoft.Policies.Sensors.WindowsLocationProvider' is already defined as the target namespace for another file in the store.

File C:\WINDOWS\PolicyDefinitions\Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.admx, line 5, column 110

The issue is caused by a name change of a policy in Windows 10 Build 1511. The policy's original name was Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.admx in Windows 10 RTM, but has been renamed to LocationProviderADM.admx in Windows 10 Build 1511.

The Group Policy editor detects the namespace conflict, and informs you about it with an error message.

Namespace is already defined

namespace is already defined error

The namespace is already defined error may be thrown on home computer systems that were upgraded from Windows 10 RTM to a newer version such as Windows 10 version 1511.

It may also be an issue on business or enterprise systems if a central store for Group Policy Administrative Template files is used if the conflicting policy was copied to the store.

Fixing the issue

The error message is informational, which means that it can be ignored without ill-effect. The removal depends on whether a central store is being used or not.

Local system, no central store

namespace error

The solution in this case is to delete the old policy template file on the computer. The error message highlights the path it is stored under: C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\

While you can access the folder without experiencing issues, you will notice that you cannot remove the files it contains.

ADMX and ADML files are system protected which means that you cannot rename, move or delete them by default.

You need to add NTFS permissions to the files, and this is done on the command line.

Step 1: Open an elevated command prompt

cmd elevated

Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe, hold down Shift and CTRL on the keyboard, and hit enter. Alternatively, right-click on the Command Prompt result and select "run as administrator" from the context menu.

This opens an elevated command prompt which is needed to run the commands.

Step 2: Run commands to add the required permissions

takeown commands

The two commands that you need to execute are:

takeown /F " C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.admx" /A

takeown /F " C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US\Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.adml" /A

Note: You may need to replace the \en-US\ part of the second command with another locale. Check the folder C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions and there the locale subfolder to find out if that is the case.

Windows displays a success message after each command indicating that the file is now "owned by the administrators group.

Step 3: Grant administrators full access

full control

Administrators need full access to the files, and that is handled in this step.

  1. Open the folder C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions in File Explorer, and right-click on Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.admx.
  2. Select properties from the context menu.
  3. Switch to the Security tab.
  4. Select the edit button when the page opens.
  5. Select the Administrators group under "group or user names".
  6. Check the "full control" box under allow.
  7. Accept the Windows Security message that is displayed.
  8. Click ok.

Repeat the steps for C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US\Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.adml. Again, change the en-US locale to the one used on the device if necessary.

Step 4: Rename or delete the file

namespace error

Use File Explorer to open C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions and locate the Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.admx file in the listing.

You may want to rename the policy template for safekeeping. This is done by right-clicking on it and selecting rename from the context menu.

Replace the file extension from .admx to .old, so that the new filename should read Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.old.

Windows may display a prompt on execution that warns you that the file may become unusable if you change its extension.


Select yes since this is intentional. Windows displays a second prompt afterwards stating that you need administrative permissions to rename the file.

file access denied

Select continue to provide administrative permissions for the file change, and repeat the operation for the second file.

Alternatively, delete the files outright instead of renaming them.

Central Store solution

Do the following to resolve the issue if central store is used.

  1. Delete the files LocationProviderADM.admx and LocationProviderADM.adml from the central store.
  2. Rename Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.admx as LocationProviderADM.admx.
  3. Rename Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.adml as LocationProviderADM.adml.

Closing Words

The Group Policy should open without errors after making the changes. Please note that the method should work for other namespace conflicts as well. If Microsoft decides to modify names without removing policies for instance, it will resolve those issues as well.

Fix Namespace is already defined errors
Article Name
Fix Namespace is already defined errors
Find out how to resolve namespace is already defined errors when opening or using the Group Policy editor on Windows 10 devices.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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